Regular maintenance is one of the most important necessities of owning a car, and changing the oil of the car is vital to ensuring the car’s ability to run smoothly. The frequency of which a car’s oil should be changed depends on the car and the way it is driven, but a general rule of thumb is to change the oil of a car every 3,000 miles. As a matter of convenience most people take their cars to their mechanics when they need an oil change, but learning how to change your own oil can save you a lot of money. Changing the oil of your own car is very simple and only requires a few simple steps.
Changing the oil of a car requires very few tools. All you need is a wrench to remove the drain plug, an oil filter wrench, an oil drain pan, a funnel, latex gloves, and a jack and jack stands or ramps to lift the car. Materials you will need are simply the oil, oil filter, and replacement drain plug washer.
The first thing to do when attempting to change the oil of your car is to lift your car using either jacks or ramps. However, be sure to use the proper technique for jacking your specific car because improperly jacking your car can cause major damage to the car. Also, before buying oil, be sure to check the owner’s manual of your car to confirm both the type and amount of oil needed.
It is also important to note that when you begin to change the oil, the engine of your car and the oil should be warm but not hot. The first step to changing the oil is to locate the oil filter and drain plug. Most cars have a bottom-mount screw-on filter. Once you have located the filter and drain plug, it is then time to drain the oil out of the engine. Place the drain pan under the drain plug but not directly under it. Put the gloves on before proceeding any further because the next several steps can cause quite a mess.
Remove the drain plug with a wrench. Once you have removed the oil drain plug, inspect and clean it as the oil is draining onto the drain pan. Now, remove the oil filter. Hold the filter over the pan to drain it, then install the new filter. If you choose to, you can now take off your gloves to get a better grip on the filter. After you are sure that the oil drain bolt and filter are firmly in place you can now add the oil. Once you’ve added the oil, replace the oil cap and start the engine. Run the engine for about 30 seconds to circulate the new oil. Then, turn off your engine and check the area underneath the car for leaks. Once you are satisfied, lower the car off of the jack stands or ramps.
Proper disposal of the car’s oil and filter is also very important. You can take your oil waste to an auto parts store that sells oil. Most will take the oil at no charge. However, if there aren’t any auto parts stores near you which will accept the oil, local municipalities usually have household hazardous waste drop-off points.